When I’m Not Feeling Particularly Profound…

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When I’m not feeling particularly profound, I use my blog space to say things like:

Headless Barbie

(And they decapitate Barbies, too.)

Is it all children, or just mine, who see all peace and quiet as a blank space longing to be filled by shouts of, WE’RE HOME! I HAD IT FIRST! MOMMY I WANT! ?

Or:

Am I the only person who pulls a minivan into the garage, cleverly avoiding the tipped over bicycles and not-put-away baseballs, and has a surreal flashback to being a new driver? I keep thinking about something I wrote in my Journal when I was sixteen, graduating from driving lessons on the loader tractor (which had a clutch and a throttle, but not a gas pedal) to the little white Escort (AM radio only). I wrote about “hurtling down the gravel road at 25 mph.” When I think of that and contrast it to the intricacies of the obstacle course that constitutes pulling in and out of my garage, I feel all grown up.

Speaking of Journals (and yes, “Journals” is capitalized, always):

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Bathroom closet in the basement, with two lifetimes worth of letters in boxes and all my Journals, from 7th grade on, taking up two shelves.

The purging of the basement closet continues in fits and starts. This week I discovered every single parish bulletin published during my tenure as music & liturgy director. Why? Because when I was an aspiring writer, the conventional wisdom was that if you have no publishing credits, use things you’ve written for parish bulletins.

In case you’re wondering, I threw virtually all of them in the recycling. I think I can safely rest on my real publishing credits now.

However, this underscores something else I realized this week. You see, my parents are also involved in a great purge, because they’re getting ready for a foundation replacement. Our basement, growing up, was entirely unique. It was built by my grandfather and his boys of brick–yes, brick–with little rooms framed in by whatever boards were left from the house across the driveway, which they had torn down. These two rooms were called the “clothes storage” and the “cold storage” rooms in my childhood, and man, I wish I had a picture of those dusty shelves full of Ball jars of vegetables and fruits. Because it’s all gone now.

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The remains of the clothes storage room. I remember it being much bigger.

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The wall to the left was all shelves full of canned produce.

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My older sister unearthed a jar of “beef tallow” in that room, labeled “2006” in my grandmother’s handwriting. I don’t even know what that is, let alone why you’d save it. Was she planning to make candles? She hadn’t even lived on the farm for 25 years at that point!

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And then there was the “boot hole,” which was tucked into the edge of the cold storage room and was the repository for all the stinky work boots (we had hogs and cattle) as well as the rain boots and of course, the moon boots.

The boot hole is gone now, too (although clearly, not all the boots.)

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I'd forgotten about these boots.

I’d forgotten about these boots.

I’m very sad about this. My parents don’t seem to be.

That night, back at home, I finally got the shoeboxes full of old letters organized. And guess what I found?

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That box on the right holds all the letters I saved from 1991 to 1997. The one on the left? Christian’s. 1991 to 1993.

So I guess I take after my parents when it comes to purging.

In other news, I sent my flute off to be worked on. They told me it really needs a repad, and that what I’m unhappy about with the touch is a result of worn pads. But they also quoted me the price for a repad. It’s going to have to wait a year. Anyway, I was without my flute for a week, and since it arrived home, I have only been able to practice in my usual 20-40 minute bursts. Yesterday, as I put it away and flew out the door to piano and baseball, I realized that 20 minutes is only long enough for me and the flute to feel like we like each other. Not enough to be satisfying by a long shot.

But my hands are flaring up, so even if I had four hours a day to practice like I did in college, I still couldn’t.

Well, I thought I had nothing at all to say, and now I have to stop before I tell my breastfeeding story. Ah well. Another time.

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